Kelita Deems. That is my name. It is who I am. That name is on my birth certificate, will be on my death certificate and every piece of identification in between. Kelita Deems. I am a mom, a wife, friend, sister, etc.
If someone comes forth and says – “You are not Kelita Deems” – this does not change who I am. If someone says – “ You are not a mother” – it does not change that I am and that I have two children. If they say “You are not a wife” – well, then what do I do with my husband? Get my point?
If this would happen, I would just laugh because what people say could not affect or change who I am. I am secure in my identity because it is who I am. No one can take that from me. It is forever settled. PERIOD. Matter of fact and history!
So, let me ask you a question……What is your identity in the Kingdom?
Let me use myself as an example, because I because God has changed my (knowledge of) my identity in the Kingdom, which has affected my daily life in the natural…..
I have sang in church since I was 2 years old. Therefore, I still sing to this day. I sing on the worship team. I am a singer in the House of God. So, if someone else sings in my place, does that nullify who I am? I also love to teach the Word of God. It is one of my giftings. I have been teaching the Word for years, and I have a grace for revelation of the word, especially in the Old Testament. But, what if someone else teaches better than me or in place of me, or teaches a class that I want to teach…..does that change me? I am a leader. I have been in leadership since I was a teenager. I was born into a pastoral family. I have always been in leadership in every church I have ever attended. However, I currently do not have an official leadership title. Does that mean I am not a leader?
Identity—- Identity is probably the most important revelation in the Body of Christ today, and probably the most misunderstood.
See, for years, I served out of my identity as a leader, singer, and teacher. Therefore, if there was a leadership position open, I automatically thought I should be considered for it In the church, If there was a solo to be sang, I felt I was the obvious choice, because I had been singing in church for over 40 years! Not to mention, that I had led worship at two other churches for over nine years. And did you need someone to teach the Word? Well, I could do that too, and if you didn’t want me or even consider me, why not? I can do it! I can do all of these! And if you don’t want me, what do I need to do to change? To Improve? What am I doing wrong? They are my giftings!
AHHHHH – so my understanding was that my giftings and my identity were on in the same. Think about that for a minute. Why would I think that? In life, my occupation is an office administrator. But, I don’t introduce myself – “Hello – I am an office administrator”. No, I am Kelita Deems. I am a wife, mother, friend, sister, etc., who also happens to be an office administrator. If I lose my job as office administrator, I do not cease to exist or to be Kelita Deems. But, in the church world, for years, my identity was wrapped up in what I did in the House of God instead of who I actually was. So I began to wonder, WHO AM I? Do you know that I just found out my true identity in the last couple of years? I have been serving God for as long as I can remember and I have always identified myself by what I did – “The Little Wilson Girl who Sang, The Church Secretary, The Women’s Leader, Care Group Leader, Worship Leader, Altar Minister. Etc.” Do you know what is missing from those names? CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. All of the above is what I DID, not who I was, however, I identified myself by what I did to serve God……
As a child, singing in revivals, I was innocently taught to “perform songs” for people. This was further enforced when as a young girl I took vocal lessons and was taught to perform perfectly for audiences and was graded on the performance. As Women’s leader or Care Group leader, I often graded myself (or was graded by my former pastors) by the number of people who attended my classes/teachings. As a former Worship Leader, I was told I was responsible for the anointing in the House of God – that it rested on me and if I didn’t fast enough, pray enough and spend enough time with God, the anointing wouldn’t be strong enough. (PERFORMANCE! )
Guess what? Because I am human, I was NEVER enough. I could never work hard enough to cause the anointing to manifest because that is not how it is designed! I could not teach clear enough for the masses to come, because it is about the heart change of even just one person I, Kelita Deems, could never do enough, be enough, love enough, live enough, work enough, sing good enough, never manipulate enough… – NOTHING I could do would ever be enough. This caused me to live on a hamster wheel of a performance mode, to strive for the unattainable and never be fulfilled. It also caused me to feel unworthy and unloved and like I constantly let people down. How then could I ever live, perform, or be perfect enough for a perfect Father to love and accept me?
Do you see how identifying myself by what I did just set me up for failure after failure? Rejection after rejection?
(SIDE NOTE: This is why it is so important for parents to teach their children about being a child of God first and foremost beyond any gifting or calling!)
So, in this process, two years ago, a man in my church, who knew NOTHING of my internal struggle, was praying for me and the Lord told him to tell me this:
“I see you as a little girl, and you wanted things to be ‘right’ – but you weren’t always instructed properly, so whenever you saw something demonstrated that you saw as ‘right’, you put it on. And the Lord isn’t mad at you, He smiles because you have fared better messed up than most AND your heart is right. Your heart has always been to please Him. However, He is getting ready to bless you and He cannot bless dysfunction so He needs you to make some changes and submit to some dismantling and trust Him.”
When I was 48 years old the Lord began to strip away all the false assumptions, and wrong demands placed upon me, by people who loved me, yet they were either ignorant of the harm they were causing, or just plain caught up in issues of their own. He began to peel back all the false identities that I had created or that had been created for me, that caused me to function in performance mode…. And guess what? When Jesus got to the core of me, there I was – Kelita Deems – Daughter of the Most High……..
I will never forget the night that I was praying before worship, and I had a lead song. I started to say, Father, help me to perform this song to Your glory and I stopped. And I said, no, a daughter does not perform for her father, but rather she simply is who she is and loves him and I knew I just needed to sing to my Father’s heart and that I would get His approval, because I ALREADY HAD IT! HA HA! I ALREADY HAD IT! I had had it for years, but I couldn’t see it under all those layers upon layers of unmet expectations and failures (in my eyes and in the eyes of man). All those times I was told I didn’t do things right, I took that as it was the Lord speaking to me and it wasn’t Him at all – it was the voice of failure to meet the demands of man – and that voice comes from the evil one cloaked in religious efforts.
That night, I sang. And as I sang, I was free and it was wonderful. I even remember singing at the end of my song “Nothing sings like a heart set free” and I truly meant it. This opened up a whole new world for me. A world of acceptance! A world of I am my Father’s daughter and He loves me. Because of that nothing else mattered. I didn’t need a title, I didn’t need a new lead song, I didn’t need to teach a class in order to be important, to be valuable. I was valuable just for being me – Kelita Deems, daughter of the Most High, accepted and loved by her Father.
It was then that I began to pray differently. When I came across situations that before would have made me nervous and feel like someone was trying to replace me, or sing better than me, or teach better than me, or a situation that I couldn’t control, yet felt obligated to for one reason or another, etc., I would simply say –
“Jesus, if You are ok with this, then I am ok.
If You are not ok, then You will have to deal with it.”
Because you know what? When it all comes down at the end of the day, no one, nobody, no circumstance, no power on earth, no power of hell can remove me as a daughter of the Most High. Neither height nor depth, nor principality can separate me from the Love of Christ. (Romans 8:39) And not everything in my world, my family, my life falls on my shoulders to correct and/or fix. Sometimes all I need to do is pray and be an example to them. Prayer is our greatest weapon. We can do more in prayer than we can with our own reasonings. Besides, our own thoughts will mess things up and then the situation will need even more prayer!
Do I throw away my experiences that made me who I am today? Nope. Do I throw my training and schooling out the window? Of course not. However, all of those things are secondary to knowing I am fully accepted by a loving Father who loves me, flaws and all. Whether the anointing shows up when I sing, whether or not I have a title in the House of God, or whether I teach the Word or not – Jesus died for me, the Holy Ghost leads me and Father God says I am the apple of His eye. I can rest assured knowing my Father cares for me, approves of me and loves me. What freedom there is when you find your identity in your relationship with the only God who gave His only Son to die in your place, so that you can serve Him out of sonship and daughtership and not remain the servant that religion demands.
If you are serving God out of anything other than the fact that you are His child, your identity is wrong. Today, I am a daughter of the Most High who sings in the House of the Lord. I also teach the Word and share with others as He leads me to do. I can celebrate the progress and even promotion of others because them being promoted in their gift does not mean I will be demoted in mine! It is not a contest or a race! This is life! We are all family! And I am proud to encourage my brothers and my sisters in the Lord to be the best they can be! I am free to laugh and enjoy life because I no longer carry burden of performing! What freedom in that revelation.
It’s never too late to find our who you really are! It’s never too late to live in peace and freedom. It is never too late to undo burdens from the past! God is not bound by time, He can go back and heal wounds and change hearts! He is the God of yesterday, today, and forever and He is my Father! I can truly say the best is yet to come!